I have first-hand knowledge of the effects of light rail. I was born and raised in Portland and lived in the Rockwood area (169th Avenue and Glisan Street) for 40 years. Rockwood in the 1960s and 1970s was a nice suburb of Portland. My young family was excited to have MAX built so close to us in the 1980s. Then it started.
I watched the increase of transient traffic through our neighborhood at all hours. I watched as high-density housing was built up along MAX, which is now referred to as "felony flats" by local law enforcement. I watched as our property values plummeted and crime increased all around us.
When a policeman was gunned down one block from our home, we decided to leave the area. It was the best decision we ever made.
Lots of promises are made to "sell" light rail. Unfortunately, I lived through it and know the truth.